Catawba County elections: voters spoke and winners were declared

Staff Writer

Even Super Tuesday rain didn’t keep last-minute voters from the polls. Precinct 40 at the Catawba County Library Newton branch welcomed voters to cast their ballots. It was across the board of electoral candidates and issues that voters were supporting.

Democrat Stephanie Christopher, eighth grade teacher at Lincolnton Middle School, said that she’s ready for change. Among the political issues at hand, she wants to see medical marijuana legalized.

“I have close family members with cancer,” she said. “I’d like to see it legalized for medical reasons, but not for recreational use.”

As far as candidates running, Christopher only has one winner on her mind.

“I’m voting for Bernie Sanders,” she said. “He has the experience and poise to be the leader of our country.”

Pat Stiltner has lived in Conover for 10 years after moving from Virginia. As a Republican, she also wants to see change.

“We need some change,” Stiltner said. “It’s always the same ‘ol ones doing the same ‘ol stuff. Our money’s going out, but we’re not being showed where it’s going.”

She said she’s voting for Trump.

“I don’t like this other bunch of B.S. candidates,” Stiltner said.

Unlike the others, Barbara Swanson doesn’t want change. The Newton resident was frustrated that her voting precinct was changed and she would have to go to Claremont to vote.

“I’ve always voted here. They shouldn’t have all these precincts,” Swanson said. “It’s just a mess. They didn’t give us any notification.”

Newton resident Dyanne Sherrill tried to show Swanson where to vote. She said she wasn’t concerned with political affiliations, but just with people getting the job done.

“Political affiliation doesn’t mean change,” she said. “It takes all of us working together. We need to vote for the people who are going to represent all of us and not just a subgroup.”

After all the votes were counted, incumbents Barbara Beatty and Donna Hicks Spencer won.

Beatty won a county commissioner seat with 7, 711 votes (22.23 percent) with Austin Allran securing the other seat with 7, 197 (20.74 percent).

Beatty was thankful for having the voters’ confidence, help, and prayers.

“I am so thankful to have so many wonderful people that have helped me during this campaign,” she said. “I am just very thankful and honored to the citizens of this county to be moving forward to the general election.”

Donna Hicks Spencer held onto her register of deeds position with 10, 995 votes (57.63 percent).

Amanda Duncan, with the board of elections, was pleased with Tuesday’s turnout. She said she’d like to thank all the voters who came out.

“We had a great turnout,” she said. “Everything ran smoothly.”

This is where the other candidates placed--

County Commissioner seats (after Beatty and Allran):
3 place: Richard Thompson 5,849 votes (16.86 percent)
4 place: Tom Dees 4,219 votes (12.16 percent)
5 place: Ray Abernathy 4,146 votes (11.95 percent)
6 place: Derek Colson 3,135 votes (9.04 percent)
7 place: Micheal Pastelak 2, 438 votes (7.03 percent)

Register of Deeds (after Spencer)
2 place: Jonathan Barnes 4,567 votes (23.94 percent)
3 place: Sondra Stewart Simmons    3,516 votes (18.43 percent)